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  • Archive for the ‘Virginia Destinations’ Category

    The Best of Virginia: Cities & Towns

    by Casey | Posted on July 29th, 2014

    When you love a place, you rally behind it to make sure everyone knows how great it is. Vote-offs like “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Travel are annual favorites, and Virginia towns have been included in two of the last three votes. A real pride of place, however, takes over when a publication names the town or city closest to your heart as “best” or “favorite” without any public input. The accolades that these Virginia towns and cities have garnered are well deserved. Do add them to your travel bucket list to see the sweet gems you’ve been missing out on.

    Old Town Historic Alexandria. ©Cameron Davidson

    Old Town Historic Alexandria. ©Cameron Davidson

    Abingdon

    • Best Performing Arts Town -The South’s Most Creative Small Towns, Garden and Gun, 2011

    Alexandria

    • Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in the U.S., Amazon.com, 2014
    • Prettiest Little Escapes, Huffington Post, 2013
    • Best Small Cities for Art Lovers, Nerdwallet, 2013

    Blacksburg

    • #14, The South’s Best College Towns, Southern Living

    Bristol

    • Best Music Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    Cape Charles. ©Cameron Davidson

    Cape Charles. ©Cameron Davidson

    Cape Charles

    • #4, Perfect Little Beach Town, Southern Living

    Charlottesville

    • #1, Happiest American Cities, Harvard Gazette, 2014 (per National Bureau for Economic Research)
    • #1, Top 5 College Towns in America, Travelers Today, 2014
    • Top Five Destinations Every American Should Visit, Orbitz Worldwide, 2014
    • #9, America’s Favorite Mountain Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2014
    • #1, America’s 5 New Foodie Cities, Wine Enthusiast, 2014
    • #2, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • #1, America’s Best Small Towns for Food, TheDailyMeal.com, 2013
    • #14, America’s Favorite Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • #1, Top College Towns, TravelChannel.com
    • #2, The South’s Best College Towns, Southern Living

    Chincoteague

    • #1, America’s Happiest Seaside Towns, Coastal Living, 2014
    • #6, 8 of the Best Small Town Getaways in the U.S., WallStCheatSheet.com, 2014
    • #2, America’s Best Little Beach Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013

    Culpeper

    • One of America’s Top 10 Small Towns. Crampton, Norman. The 100 Best Small Towns in America.
    Downtown Harrisonburg. ©Elisabeth Bixby

    Downtown Harrisonburg. ©Elisabeth Bixby

    Floyd

    • 50 Great American Places to Visit this Summer, Men’s Journal, 2013

    Fredericksburg

    • #9, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013

    Galax

    • The Next Great Mountain Towns, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2011

    Harrisonburg

    • Best Beer Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    • #5, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013

    Lexington

    • Best Small Towns to Visit, Smithsonian Magazine, 2013
    • #14, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • 10 Coolest Small Towns in America, Budget Travel, 2009

    Luray

    • The Next Great Mountain Towns, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2011

    Lynchburg

    • 50 Best Places to Live & Play, National Geographic, 2007
    Downtown Middleburg. ©Virginia Tourism Corporation

    Downtown Middleburg. ©Virginia Tourism Corporation

    Middleburg

    • Best Small Town Weekend Getaways, Southern Living
    • #6, 20 Best Day Trips in the U.S., Fodor’s Travel, 2014

    Richmond

    • Frommer’s Top Destinations for 2014, Frommer’s, 2014
    • Best Town Ever, Outside, 2012

    Roanoke

    • Top 10 Valentine’s Day Getaways, WorldPropertyChannel.com, 2014
    • 10Best: Bike-Friendly Cities, USAToday.com, 2014
    • Best Trail Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    • Best Mid-Sized Mountain Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2012

    Smithfield

    • #41, America’s Happiest Seaside Towns, Coastal Living, 2014
    Virginia Beach. ©John Henley

    Virginia Beach. ©John Henley

    Staunton

    • America’s Best Main Streets, Fordor’s Travel, 2014
    • America’s Favorite Mountain Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2014
    • America’s Greatest Main Streets, Travel + Leisure, 2012
    • Best Small Towns in America, Smithsonian Magazine, 2012

    Virginia Beach

    • Top 10 Summer Destinations, Priceline.com, 2014
    • Top 20 Destinations for Fourth of July Travel, Priceline.com, 2014
    • Best Cities for Summer Drives, NBCNews.com, 2013
    • Top 10 Art Beaches, Huffington Post Travel, 2013
    • 8 Great Labor Day Weekend Getaways, Budget Travel, 2013
    • 7 Most Beautiful and Underrated Cities in the U.S., EscapeHere.com, 2013

    Williamsburg

    • #2, Best Historic Destinations in the USA, US News & World Report, 2014-15
    • #3, 10Best: Best Historic Cities, USAToday.com, 2014
    • #3, 10Best: Places to Explore American History, USAToday.com, 2014
    • 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in Virginia in 2014, Smithsonian Magazine
    • #4, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • These Old Towns are the Prettiest Little Escapes, Huffington Post, 2013 (Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown Settlement)
    • #7 Best Weekend Getaways, US News & World Report
    • #8, 8 Affordable Family Vacations, US News & World Report

    Which Virginia city or town is your favorite and why? Leave a comment to let us know!

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    Destinations, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 1 Comment

    The Best of Virginia’s Outdoors

    by Casey | Posted on July 25th, 2014

    National accolades for everything from ice cream to small towns, hot dogs and whatever else you can think of keep rolling in for Virginia areas and businesses. While it’s hard to keep up with all that’s fabulous and acclaimed, we thought we’d give it a shot by sharing the more recent accolades. This post, The Best of Virginia’s Outdoors, is the first in a series you can look forward to. Be sure to subscribe to our posts to avoid missing the upcoming articles.

    BEACHES

    Virginia Beach

    Virginia Beach

    Virginia Beach & Boardwalk

    • #4, 10 Last-Minute Beach Getaways for Summer, Fodor’s Travel, 2014
    • #6, America’s Best Boardwalks, Travel + Leisure, 2014
    • #6, 10 Under-the-Radar Beaches in the U.S., Fodor’s Travel, 2014
    • One of the 20 Most Awesome Boardwalks in America, Budget Travel, 2014
    • The 10 Best Boardwalks in America, Men’s Journal, 2014
    • Best Beaches for Memorial Day Weekend, USAToday.com, 2014
    • 10Best: Southern Beaches, USAToday.com, 2014
    • #7, 9 Best Boardwalks in the U.S., Huffington Post Travel, 2013
    • #9, 10 Best Boardwalks in the U.S., National Geographic, 2013
    • 10 Uncrowded Atlantic Beaches for Summer, USAToday.com, 2013
    • One of America’s Most Awesome Boardwalks, Budget Travel, 2013

    Assateague Island National Seashore

    • #23, 2014 Best Beaches in the U.S., TripAdvisor 2014 Travelers’ Choice
    • #6, Best U.S. Island, USA Today Travel Reader’s Choice, 2014
    • One of the 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in America, Budget Travel, 2014
    • The Best Campgrounds in the Country, Men’s Journal, 2014
    • Among the Best Beaches on Earth, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • Top 25 U.S. Beaches, TripAdvisor 2013 Travelers’ Choice
    • Top 10 Things for Families to Do in Virginia, Trekaroo.com, 2012

    Chincoteague Island

    • #7, Top 10 Beaches in the U.S., TripAdvisor 2013 Travelers’ Choice
    • #3, America’s Best Little Beach Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2012
    • America’s Best Beach Town, AOL.com, 2010

    BICYCLING

    Virginia Creeper Trail, Abingdon

    • #6, 10 Best Rails to Trails, Travel + Leisure, 2003

    Arlington

    • #23, America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities, Bicycling.com, 2012

    Capital Bikeshare, Arlington

    • #11, The 16 Best Bike Shares in the World, TheActiveTimes.com, 2013

    Harrisonburg

    • America’s Top Mountain Bike Towns, TheActiveTimes.com, 2013

    Williamsburg

    • Recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community, League of American Bicyclists, 2013

    GARDENS

    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond

    • #2, 10 Best Public Gardens in North America, USA Today, 2014
    • #21, 30 Must-See U.S. Public Gardens, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014
    • 10 North American Gardens Worth Travelling For, BBC Travel, 2013
    • Best Botanical Gardens in the U.S., Travel Channel, 2013

     

    GOLF

    Primland Resort, Meadows of Dan

    • #13, Top 100 Public Courses in America, Golf Digest, 2012
    • The Boutique Mountain Golf Resort in the U.S., Golf Odyssey, 2011
    • #22, Best Courses, Golfweek, 2010
    • Resorts to Watch, Golf Magazine, 2010
    • Best New Public Course in America ($75 and over bracket), Golf Digest, 2008
    • One of the Top 10 New Courses in the World, Travel + Leisure, 2007

    Golden Horseshoe Golf Club at Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg

    • America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses, Golf Digest, 2012, 2011, …
    • Top 100 Resort Courses, Golfweek, annually 2007-2012
    • Top 100 You Can Play, GOLF Magazine, 2012, 2011, 2010, …

    HIKING

    Appalachian Trail

    • #5, 7 Adventure Trips You Need to Take this Summer, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    Cape Henry Trail at First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach (PDF)

    • #9, 30 Great American Hikes, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park

    • #6, 30 Great American Hikes, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014
    • #29, 31 Great American Day Hikes to Do Before Summer Ends, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    RIVERS

    Shenadoah River. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Shenadoah River. CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Shenandoah River

    • Class I, 50 of the Best Rivers in the Southeast, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013

     

    SKI RESORTS

    Massanutten Resort, McGaheysville

    • 10 Best Ski Resorts for Summer Fun, Fodor’s Travel, 2014

     

    STATE AND NATIONAL PARKS

    High Bridge Trail State Park, Farmville

    • #17, 36 Stunning U.S. State Parks, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    Natural Tunnel State Park, Duffield

    • #21, 36 Stunning U.S. State Parks, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    Shenandoah National Park, Luray

    • #30, The Absolute Best National Park, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    COMMUNITIES RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR OUTDOOR OPPORTUNITIES

    Galax

    • The Next Great Mountain Towns, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013

    Luray

    • The Next Great Mountain Towns, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013

    Richmond

    • Best Town Ever, Outside, 2012

    Roanoke

    • 10Best: Bike-Friendly Cities, USAToday.com, 2014
    • Best Trail Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    • Best Mid-Sized Mountain Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2012

    Learn more about Virginia’s outdoors at Virginia.org/Outdoors.

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    Outdoors, Virginia Destinations | 0 Comments

    It’s Not Too Late! Plan Your Last Summer Escape

    by Stefanie | Posted on July 24th, 2014

    As the summer winds down, a short getaway at the end of the season is always a great way to wrap things up. Include some of these cool culinary spots around.

    Lansdowne Resort

    Lansdowne Resort

    SKYLINE WINE, DINE, RECLINE TRAIL
    Did you know that 27 wineries, a whiskey distillery, incredible restaurants and the highest concentration of B&Bs in the State of Virginia are tucked into the edges of Skyline Drive? As you’re spending the weekend cruisin’ through 105 miles of natural scenic beauty, hop off for a break to take in a winery or two, check out one of the amazing restaurants, and don’t forget to make reservations at one of their many quaint B&Bs.

    ASPEN DALE WINERY AT THE BARN
    Located in Delaplane, Virginia on one of the most exciting wine trails in the Washington, D.C. area, Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn is a boutique winery that offers a unique experience for wine lovers. The legacy of Aspen Dale’s revolutionary-era agricultural experience drives the winery’s stewardship. Aspen Dale has endeavored to capture the best of Colonial and European wine making techniques and blendings, while the ambience of the 200 year-old barn winery and thoroughbred horse farm inspires. Aspen Dale’s passion for history, horses and wines is profound, as their dreams have been brought to life, providing the mellowness of a boutique winery experience that lingers long after the glass empties.

    211 SCENIC VINO WINE TRAIL
    What a Daytrip! Hop on Route 211, one of the prettiest scenic drives in Virginia. Getting to the premier wineries of the 211 Scenic Vino Wine Trail is half the fun! The gorgeous rolling hills on the route lead to Shenandoah National Park, America’s favorite drive, Skyline Drive, and the quaint village of Little Washington … the town George laid out in 1749 (just an hour from Big Washington DC)! Along the way you’ll find five (soon to be seven) of Virginia’s best wineries, a whiskey distillery, unique boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, and the approaching majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains! Drive up to Skyland for some blueberry ice cream pie. Hike to a waterfall. Do the ziplines. Stay and enjoy the many Inns and gourmet eateries along the way, you’ll get to taste Virginia’s best award-winning wines. Our tip: go backwards! Take the gorgeously scenic drive first to Sperryville, the quaint town named DC’s best weekend getaway by Huffington Post. Enjoy the approaching Blue Ridge vistas. Then slowly work your way home!

    COASTAL VIRGINIA ALE TRAIL (Taste Tidewater Tours)
    Taking that last trip to Virginia Beach? If you’re a beer enthusiast, the Coastal Virginia Ale Trail is definitely something to put on the to-do list. Dedicated to all things local, let Taste Tidewater take you to the best craft beer the Virginia Beach/ Norfolk area has to offer. Taste and tour up to three venues based on availability. The tours generally last about four hours and include local history and lore, as well as tips on tasting and pairing beer with food.

    Catoctin Creek Distilling Company

    Catoctin is the first family-owned distillery since before prohibition. Co-owner Scott Harris talks about the distilling process.

    LOUDOUN WEST BREW BUS / CREEK CROSSING FARM BED & BREAKFAST
    Built in 1773 by the Quaker Edward Thompson, Creek Crossing Farm was one of three plantations and several large tracts of land owned by him in early Colonial Loudoun County. Located in Virginia’s Hunt Country, in a secluded valley just outside of the present day village of Lincoln, there are more than 25 acres of open fields with cattle, woods with wild turkey, pheasants and deer, and a creek that waters the entire farm, feeding organic blueberry and raspberry fields. Venture over to Loudoun and take a trip on the Loudoun West Brew Bus. Make stops at historic Corcoran Brewing, Adroit Theory brewery and Catoctin Distilling, and relax as you get a taste of the Loudoun brew scene without worrying about driving.

    BELIVEAU ESTATE B&B AND WINERY
    Treat yourself to a stay at Beliveau Estate, a premium B&B and Winery. The estate’s winery has received more than 30 awards since opening in 2012, including 2013 Silver Best Winery by the readers of Blue Ridge magazine. It has a beautiful tasting room, a covered outside veranda, picnic spots, on-site hiking, and in the cooler months a warm fireplace to sip wine around. Enjoy a weekend of true ambiance enjoying all the amenities the estate has to offer.

    WINE LOVERS PACKAGE – Arcady Vineyards Bed & Breakfast and Wine Tours
    Enjoy two nights at the only Charlottesville Wine Country B&B with a working vineyard! The luxury accommodations offer a whirlpool tub for two, wine fridge with sparkling wine, heated tiled bath floor, free Wifi, Bose CD/radio, TV/VCR and port, and local chocolate turn down. Package includes a full farm fresh breakfast each morning, bottle of sparkling wine chilled in your suite, and a wine and cheese social at check in. You will enjoy a personalized, all-inclusive wine tour with the oldest owner-operated tour company in Charlottesville. Visit four wineries with a deluxe local cheese/fruit/local chocolate platter, and bottled water. The wine tour also provides transportation to downtown Charlottesville for dining.

    CULINARY DELIGHTS – SMITHFIELD STATION
    Smithfield is world famous for Smithfield Ham, but that is only half the story. Additionally, Smithfield is a quaint coastal town with access to some of the freshest seafood on the Eastern Seaboard. This package focuses on the two hallmarks of dining in Smithfield, ham and fresh local seafood and includes: one-night stay in their Deluxe Lodge Rooms, Boardwalk Rooms or Cottages, or the Lighthouse; dinner for two in the award-winning restaurant. Dinner includes soup, appetizer to share, entrée, dessert, coffee or tea, and a bottle of house wine. Get your getaway started right with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries in your room upon arrival. And don’t forget to stop by Virginia’s largest winery, the Williamsburg Winery!

    DOWNTOWN BEER TRAIL PACKAGE – Stonewall Jackson Hotel
    Staunton is now home to two Craft breweries, RedBeard Brewing and Shenandoah Valley Brewing. With intimate taprooms and a fine selection of beers all produced on property, come on down and sample some of the Valley’s finest. All within a short walk of our front door, no driving needed! Your package includes: Overnight accommodations, breakfast for two and parking, 6 beer flights (4 oz. pours) from Redbeard, 2 pints from Shenandoah Valley Brewing, a free tasting at Hops retail store, and a $15.00 Gift Certificate to Shenandoah Pizza (and their huge beer list!)

    FOODE EXCLUSIVE CULINARY EXPERIENCE – Various Fredericksburg Locations
    Experience a delectable 5 course meal especially prepared for you with locally sourced fresh ingredients. Meet your chef and learn the inspiration behind your dishes during your culinary delight! This package includes: One night at a Fredericksburg-area hotel (price varies by lodging tier selection) and especially prepared 5-course meal for two.

    SHARED WINES & TREASURED TIMES – Landsdowne Resort
    This is a comprehensive wine and culinary adventure in the heart of DC Wine Country as this Virginia wine country tour takes two adults from vineyard and back to the Virginia winery resort. You will be whisked away by a private car for a five-hour winery tour to experience as many wine tours and tastings as your heart desires. Choose from our partner wineries: Breaux Vineyards, Corcoran Vineyards, Doukénie Winery and Sunset Hills Vineyard. Package Includes: luxurious overnight accommodations (double occupancy), private car for a total of 5 hours, $100 Dining Credit, and breakfast buffet for two adults.

    BASIC CHEESEMAKING AT CORNERSTONE FARM
    Getaway and learn something new together! Learn the basic art of making cheese from scratch. Basic cheese instructions concentrate on “farmers” cheese, ricotta and mozzarella. Easy to make when you get back home. In the individualized 1-day, 2-night getaway, you will learn how to make simple basic cheese from scratch. The day will be spent learning and making a couple basic cheeses, with each person bringing home with them what they prepared. When not cheesemaking, enjoy strolling around the farm, sitting on the deck’s in lounge chairs and rockers, or watching the farm animals. So grab your friends or family and come down to the farm for some fun-filled time away! Package includes cheesemaking, 2-night stay, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and all cooking supplies.

    SHENANDOAH WINE TRAIL – By the Side of the Road Bed & Breakfast
    Get a true taste of Shenandoah with this valley getaway package including: Two nights in one of three luxurious cottages, a romantic dinner for two at BEYOND ($60 Value), complimentary red or white Virginia wine upon arrival,  a light version of their gourmet picnic to carry to the Valley Wineries of your choice (includes gourmet cheeses, French bread, fresh fruits & dessert), hot gourmet breakfast basket delivered to your cottage door each morning or served in the Common to Main House guests. Wineries nearby include: Cave Ridge Vineyard (10% Discount on cases), Wolf Gap Vineyard & Winery, Shenandoah Vineyards (10% discount on cases), North Mountain Vineyard & Winery, and BlueStone Vineyards.

    The Boar's Head Inn

    The Boar’s Head Inn

    VIRGINIA WINE PACKAGE- Boar’s Head Inn
    Experience Love by the Glass with the Boar’s Head Virginia Wine Package, which combines Four Diamond accommodations and dining with impeccable Virginia wines. Virginia’s quintessential escape, Boar’s Head, offers a warm, intimate ambiance, exceptional service and unparalleled Southern hospitality. Package includes: two night’s accommodations, a welcome gift of one bottle of Virginia wine with an artisan fruit and cheese platter, daily breakfast in the Old Mill Room, a self-guided tour to a local winery (including house credit for two tasting passes), a special three-course Virginia wine dinner for two in the Old Mill Room.

    WINE OR BEER LOVERS TOUR – Belle Hearth Bed & Breakfast
    Spend two relaxing nights, Tuesday thru Saturday, in any of the tranquil rooms and enjoy a welcoming wine or beer basket stocked with goodies. Then be treated to the vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains while being chauffeured to three of Virginia’s finest wineries and/or micro-breweries only minutes from the Belle Hearth. All of this libation, plus a three-course gourmet breakfast each morning.

    VIRGINIA IS FOR CRAFT BEER AND BARBEQUE LOVERS ESCAPE – Oceanfront Inn, Va. Beach
    Celebrate your love and passions in life with our exclusive package in honor of the Virginia is for Lovers award-winning slogan.  Complete your experience with our Virginia is for Beer & Barbecue Lovers’ Basket including 2 bottles of Green Flash beer, an Oceanfront Inn bottle opener, two Oceanfront Inn pint glasses, and a gift certificate to locals’ favorite, Beach Bully Barbeque.



    48 Hours, Beer, Couples, Deals & Discounts, Destinations, Events, Family, Food, Food and Wine, Outdoors, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations, Wine | 0 Comments

    Five Can’t-Miss Summer Events

    by Casey | Posted on July 23rd, 2014

    Some events know no end and we LOVE them! Annually occurring festivals are marked on our calendars a year ahead of time. They’re something to look forward to and yet another opportunity to make memories with the ones we love. Here are five upcoming “late” summer events that you can’t miss. Start a new tradition or chime in via the comments to tell us your favorite parts of these five.

    Assateague Island Pony Watching from the Assateague Channel

    Assateague Island Pony Watching from the Assateague Channel

    1. The Chincoteague Pony Swim from Assateague to Chincoteague Island has been happening at the end of July for nearly 90 years. That’s quite the tradition, and there are families who never miss it, making an annual pilgrimage to see the crossing, the parading, and the auctioning of the years’ foals. While you’re in town, be sure to visit Island Creamery, hailed the #1 ice cream parlor in America by TripAdvisor users.

    2. The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival is one of the mid-Atlantic’s longest running outdoor music festivals. This year’s session began on July 18 and continues with dates through August 31. Remaining on the schedule are acts like United States Air Force Strings, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, The Oak Ridge Boys and Eddie from Ohio. Centered around Shenandoah County’s Orkney Springs, the setting is bucolic with the Allegheny Mountains as a backdrop. Buy Tickets

    Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Image by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Image by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    3. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna is the place for summer concerts and family performances! This summer has included Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Ben Folds, Diana Ross, Pilobolus, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Sara Bareilles, The Fray and Lionel Richie with CeeLo Green. Yet to come (and tickets available for!) are  Sarah McLachlan, Darius Rucker, Heart, Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, Boney James and Eric Benet, YANNI, The Band Perry, Cirque Dreams – Jungle Fantasy and Colbie Caillat. Every summer season brings great acts that you won’t want to miss. Buy Tickets

    4. The still new but ever growing Virginia Craft Brewers Festival is held each August at Devils Backbone Brewing Company against Wintergreen Mountain in Roseland. Now in its third year, more than 40 of Virginia’s craft brewers have signed on to offer tastings and tout their upcoming flavors. You won’t want to miss the awarding of the Virginia Craft Brewers Cup. Devils Backbone has taken home the cup each year so far. Their Smokehaus Lager won in 2013 and their Schwartz Bier won in 2012. Buy Tickets and/or Reserve a Campsite

    Morven Park is the setting for Epicurience Virginia in Leesburg.

    Morven Park is the setting for Epicurience Virginia in Leesburg.

    5. Epicurience Virginia took by storm the culinary and wine scenes of Virginia, DC and environs when it debuted last year. Held at the beautiful, historic Morven Park in Leesburg, this event brings together the best tastes Virginia has to offer in an opulent atmosphere across three days at the end of August. The Grand Tasting is the second day and it’s the event you don’t want to miss with chef demonstrations and opportunities to meet Virginia winemakers and tastemakers. The rest of the weekend includes a Fabulous 1940s Party at Oatlands Plantation and various fine dining experiences. Buy Tickets

    >> Upcoming Festivals
    >> Virginia Craft Beer
    >> Virginia Wine
    >> Culinary Virginia

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    Arts, Events, Festivals, Food and Wine, Outdoors, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 0 Comments

    Virginia’s Music Heritage

    by Casey | Posted on July 22nd, 2014

    At its core, music is all about emotion and storytelling. As Vince Gill puts it, “I just think it’s important to know your history. Period.” And the history of country music starts with the 1927 Bristol Sessions – “the Big Bang of Country Music,” if you will.

    Carter Family Fold. Image by Emily Edmonds.

    Carter Family Fold. Image by Emily Edmonds.

    Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited is a project that brings well known veterans of country and bluegrass together with rising stars to deliver, in fact, orthophonic joy. That is, reproduced authentic sounds that deliver feelings of great pleasure and happiness.

    The project of 16 re-recorded Bristol Sessions songs will be released in October, nicely dovetailing with the August 1 opening of the brand new Smithsonian Institution-affiliated Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol.

    Recording artists include Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers and Ashley Monroe. The project is produced by multi-Grammy Award-winner Carl Jackson.

    >> About Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited

    Virginia’s musical legacy is as deep and wide as its rivers and valleys. In Southwest Virginia, the Carter Family and the Stonemans were two of the acts who helped popularize the rise of mountain music and were among the first to penetrate American households on radio and records.

    Dr. Ralph Stanley. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Dr. Ralph Stanley. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Ralph Stanley (pictured right), from Clintwood, helped bring Bluegrass and Old Time music into the mainstream. His lengthy and distinguished career received widespread acclaim with the release of the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, featuring his songs O, Death and Angel Band. And while Man of Constant Sorrow, the unintentional O Brother theme song, wasn’t penned by Stanley, he resurrected the old ballad in 1951 when he recorded it with his brother Carter for Columbia Records. No one knows for sure exactly where the song originated.

    The music of Southwest Virginia is more accessible than ever thanks in part to The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. The Crooked Road links together dozens of venues where live music can be heard each week. Heritage sites such as the Ralph Stanley Museum, the Blue Ridge Music Center and Heartwood help tell the stories of the music and musicians.

    Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

    Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

    Music festivals draw tens of thousands of fans from around the world. The Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion fills the downtown area of the vibrant city with stages indoors and out. FloydFest is an eclectic celebration of music of nearly every description and is held adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival honors one of America’s top acoustic guitar makers and this year features Vince Gill as its headliner.

    Divergent veins of music run throughout Virginia, producing famous names in a variety of genres. Legendary singers Ella Fitzgerald and Pearl Bailey both hailed from Newport News. Country Music Hall of Fame member Patsy Cline was born in Winchester. Las Vegas legend Wayne Newton was born in Norfolk, and country music superstar Roy Clark is from the small town of Meherrin. Williamsburg is home to native son Bruce Hornsby.

    Dave Matthews grew up in Charlottesville and owns one of Virginia’s top wineries nearby. Pharrell Williams of Virginia Beach has made the world “Happy” with his smash single. He and his musical partner, Chad Hugo, from nearby Portsmouth, comprise The Neptunes and as performers and producers are one of the dominant forces in modern popular music.

    Truly, Virginia’s music reverberates around the world today with new sounds and influences, yet still finds a home among the hills of Appalachia.

    From inside the new Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Photo by Earl Neikirk, Bristol Herald Courier.

    From inside the new Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Photo by Earl Neikirk, Bristol Herald Courier.



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